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The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

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Southern Hills Hosts 111th Annual Oklahoma State Amateur

Caleb Smith played his way to the quarterfinals, making him one of the last eight players in the tournament
After winning his first two rounds in day one of the Oklahoma State Amateur tournament at Southern Hills Country Club, Caleb Smith takes a moment to enjoy his accomplishment.

Caleb Smith, fifth-year golf player at USAO, and Conner Cryer, second-year golf player at USAO, traveled to Tulsa and competed in the 111th Oklahoma State Amateur (OSA) tournament July 10 through July 12 at Southern Hills Country Club.

The pair, along with Jax Brewer, third-year golf player at USAO, played in qualifying rounds in late June at two different golf courses. The two qualifiers accepted 31 players each, which would eventually form a 64-person tournament. The winner and runner-up from the 2022 tournament rounded out the 64 players and took the first and second seed. Smith, seeded 34, and Cryer, seeded 44, made it through the qualifiers and packed their bags to play at the private club, which hosted the 2022 PGA Championship.

A typical golf tournament is played through stroke play, which looks at the number of strokes it takes a player to complete 18 holes and compares it to every other player in the tournament; however, the OSA utilized match play. This means that two players go through the round together, competing solely against each other, and attempt to wins holes from each other. This can alleviate pressure on the players, who can now focus on one opponent in front of them and not the other 63, and it quickly eliminates players. Another bonus is that in some cases, players might not have to play a full 18 holes and can save their energy for future rounds.

For example, in Smith’s first round against Jackson Magness, seeded 31, Smith won 4 & 3. This means that Smith had won four more holes than Magness and had left three holes unplayed because his opponent could not beat Smith even with the remaining holes.

In Cryer’s first round against Dustin Wigington, seeded 21, the pair kept stealing the lead back from one another. Finally, the round ended on the 17th hole, when Wigington won the hole and was two up on Cryer, which sent Cryer home.

Smith continued into his second round at 1 p.m. against Jacob Prentice, seeded 2 and runner-up in 2022. Smith got a quick jump on Prentice, winning the first three holes, and kept his lead the entire round. Smith and Prentice shook hands on the green on the 8th hole, when Smith claimed his victory with a well-timed putt.

“I was thinking what I was always thinking when I play golf because that doesn’t change,” Smith said. “When I play golf, the things I think about are the things that are right in front of me. I was thinking about the current shot I had to hit and when that was over I was getting prepared to hit my next shot.”

For day one, Smith’s college coach, Luke Burns caddied for him, in which Burns provided a calming presence and advice for Smith while playing. Smith’s father, Chris and other family and friends walked the course to watch Smith play. On day two, Brewer made the trek to Tulsa to caddie for Smith.

Day two on the course started the same way for Smith, who took a dominating win over Ryan Bell, seeded 50. Smith won five of the first seven holes, putting him up five, before giving up holes 9 and 10. Yet, by the 15th hole Smith found the motivation and won two more holes to seal his third victory in the tournament. Smith won 3 & 1 sending himself into the quarterfinals.

Smith’s final round against Mesa Faulleur, seeded 7, ended after 12 holes, as Falleur continually extended his lead. Falleur won 7 & 6, which sent Smith home.

“I was excited and in awe at the same time, and so very honored to get to play at a course where every single great in the game of golf has got to walk. I have got to walk where the greats have walked,” Smith said, after finishing his last round at Southern Hills.

 

Emily Loughridge is a third-year Communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

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About the Contributor
Emily Loughridge, Editor-in-Chief
Emily is a third-year communication major from Union City. Emily is obtaining a minor in psychology, as well. She has been on staff for The Trend since the fall of 2021 and loves working with the writers on ideas! Emily also works in the Sports Information Department on campus as the Student Assistant, where she takes photos of the various athletic events and assists with the live broadcast. When she isn't studying or working, Emily can normally be found watching Scrubs, Reba, or How I Met Your Mother and enjoying ice cream on the couch with her boyfriend.   Experience with The Trend: Editor-in-Chief: Dec. 2022 - present Managing Editor: May 2022 - Nov. 2022 Contributing Writer: Aug. 2021 - April 2022